This makes quite a bit, so use your big mixing bowl! Don't worry, it won't go to waste. This lasts several days in the fridge and is great for lunch.
The great things about pasta salads is the customization. If you don't like black olives, leave them out. Double the cheese if you would like. Tweak to your hearts content.
My friend came to visit me from Maine last week and she made pretty much this same pasta salad. Its so good I had to make it again. Its so fresh and light, it should be a staple for the entire summer.
PS, its Florida where I am...Its basically *always* summer. :)
PSS, this would be FANTASTIC with cheese tortellini. Seriously, do it...
Italian Pasta Salad
2 boxes of tri color rollitini, or 2 packages cheese tortellini
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved. Or cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 bubble package of pearl mozzarella (in the specialty cheese section. Cubed fresh mozzarella will do as well, just not as easy!)
1 can sliced black olives, drained
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts. Drained and chopped
1 hot house cucumber, diced
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil (about 12 leaves)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp honey
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper
Cook the pasta according to directions. Drain and rinse with cool water until pasta is cool
In a large mixing bowl, mix artichokes, tomatoes, mozzarella, olives, cucumber, and basil.
In a airtight jar, mix the dressing ingredients and shake well.
Add the pasta to the mixing bowl and put dressing on top. Stir to combine. Add more S&P if needed
Chill for an hour and serve.
If making in advance, test before serving and add a bit of olive oil if dry.